Study: The value of Promoted Trends

Trending topics on Twitter capture the moments consumers care about most. 

Since their introduction three years ago, Promoted Trends have helped marketers position themselves at the top of Twitter’s trend list for 24-hour windows. As you might expect, advertisers often ask our Research team to quantify the value that Promoted Trends offer. Does a day of trending on Twitter affect brand objectives and KPIs?

To find the answer, we analyzed 35 randomly-selected Promoted Trends running in 2012 and 2013. To keep our sample representative, we controlled for industry vertical, day of week and advertiser objective. Here’s what we found:

 The value of Promoted Trends

#1: Promoted Trends boost brand conversation.

First, Promoted Trends helped advertisers kick-start conversations about their brands. In the 14 days following Promoted Trend exposure, Twitter users produced 22% more conversations about an advertiser compared to the two weeks before exposure.

More importantly, we saw a 30% lift in brand mentions bearing positive sentiment, and a 32% lift in Retweets of brand mentions in the two weeks following exposure.

Key takeaway: Promoted Trends can work as strong complements to product launches and key events to increase brand conversation and drive advocacy.

#2: Promoted Trends drive the most impact at the top of the funnel.

For advertisers more interested in affecting their bottom line, we also saw Promoted Trends boost conversation about purchases. Using machine learning, we identified a range of keywords consumers use in each stage of the purchase process; for instance, terms like “thinking about” coupled with a brand name would fall into the “Consideration” stage.

Our technology then combed through Tweets from our exposed audience before and after each Promoted Trend date, looking for those keywords. Among the Promoted Trends analyzed, advertisers saw greatest impact at the top of the purchase funnel.

In fact, consumers skewed 151% more likely to tweet about considering a product after Promoted Trend exposure. Conversations about intent and purchase also jumped 19% and 33%, respectively.

Key takeaway: Kick off campaigns with a Promoted Trend to maximize awareness and purchase consideration. From there, we recommend advertisers use keyword targeted Promoted Tweets to reach the most relevant, receptive audience and move them further down the purchase funnel.

#3: Promoted Trends have a long-term impact.

Lastly, by varying the time period on which we ran the above analytics, we found that Promoted Trends had lasting impact on consumer conversations about brands. With a 73% lift in brand mentions, Promoted Trends had their greatest impact the day they ran. But even three weeks after a trend, advertisers reaped benefits: a 20% lift in brand mentions, 22% lift in positive mentions and 10% lift in Retweets.

Key takeaway: Leverage these insights to use Promoted Trends more strategically — not only as supplements to 24-hour “moments” like product launches, but also as air cover to prop up other campaigns with flight dates that span three weeks or longer.

Bottom line

Our study highlights three ways Promoted Trends drive business outcomes: increased brand advocacy, greater purchase consideration and long-term impact on earned media. Brands interested in learning more will want to watch for our follow up study highlighting best practices in Promoted Trends from some of the most successful advertisers on Twitter.